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May's Journal



20/06/2018
[17:00] A day of getting things done. Preparations for tomorrow morning's patching, a gym session at lunchtime where I tweaked my lower back loading a barbell rather than actually doing an exercise, and an afternoon of perspiring very slightly in an overly hot office.

I'm going to cycle carefully home now and make sure that the house is ready for the people doing the EWI to potentially turn up in the next two days and start errecting scaffolding. I mowed the lawns last night, which was necessary for Rachel's family visit anyway, but it's good that I've done it before the scaffolders arrive. I will need to go and move the garden furniture again though, just as I'd got it ready to put out for this weekend.

Anyway, I'm in early tomorrow morning to patch and reboot two servers (one physical, one virtual), so that should be fun.

19/06/2018
[16:30] Rachel arrived late last night after seeing her parents off at an airport. I managed to get myself out of bed to greet her, just about. We didn't sleep terribly well past about 04:00 owing to not having been around each other much recently (the same thing happened on Sunday night). However, we were just about awake enough to enjoy the morning together before she had to dash off to catch her train (which was delayed, and therefore got her to work a little late). I cycled to the bike shop with the replacement freehub I got a few weeks ago, but didn't have time to make time to get fitted, and then ran to work after that. I don't know if it was hot, or simply just humid, but it wasn't the easiest run in the world. However, after a shower and some mixed nuts and raisins I seemed to perk up somewhat. Most of the morning was spent preparing and then executing an upgrade of my Red Hat Satellite installation from 6.2.14 to 6.2.15. Not a lot to change, but it always pays to do belt-and-braces with that particular bit of software. I imagine the next upgrade will be to 6.3.x, which is a whole other board game, although having VMWare snapshots to fall back on make it much less of a freaking out situation. Over lunch I did quite a slow 6K run, showered, and got back to work again. Now I'm about to get back into my running kit for the third time today, collect my bike and cycle home to mow and strim the lawns. Cormac'll also be coming round to swap some DVDs that he's been digitising for us.

18/06/2018
[17:15] "What I Did On My Weekend", by me. On Saturday morning I toddled along to parkrun and, even though the temperature was fairly low, only managed a run almost a minute slower than the previous week. I don't know if it's the weight training I'm doing, or something else, but I do feel like running is a lot harder than it was during marathon training. After that though I went home and had a shower and some breakfast and then dashed to Tesco as fast as I could so as to be back in time for the Ikea delivery. This was due to arrive any time after 11:00. In the end it didn't arrive until 13:30, but that was OK as it meant I got to tidy a little more, put up another picture, and have some lunch. I then spent the afternoon building the shelving/cabinet for the dining room, and the chest of drawers for the spare bedroom. I unpacked the desk (for the spare bedroom) but decided I'd done enough for the day at around 18:40. I treated myself to a Chinese takeaway and then went to bed some time later on. On Sunday morning, having chatted to Rachel via text, I ran what I hoped would be an equal run to her at around the same time in the morning (it later turned out she hadn't been able to run after all), got cleaned up and shaved, had some breakfast and then assembled the desk, which took somewhat longer than I was expecting. However, it all came off without a hitch. I did some more house consolidation and then left for the train station in good time so as not to get sweaty. Down in London Rachel and I met at Liverpool Street and we headed to meet one of her university friends for birthday drinks before heading down to Croydon for the evening. I wasn't feeling all that upbeat for whatever reason, so it was a quiet evening in. This morning I got delayed by the continuing train issues, but still managed to get to work before 09:30, which was more than good enough. I've managed to decommission nine physical servers today, which is excellent, and three virtual servers, which is almost as good. All but one of the physical servers are IBMs, which I'm so very glad to see the back of, finally. I've logged a support case for another server, but had no reply from the usually very responsive engineer I usually contact, got some money back from the really nice people at an online sports shop I use, and even been for an hour's good gymming, when I thought I wasn't in the mood. I'm going to head home now and put 16 rubber ferrules on the legs of my dining chairs, and then wait for Rachel to arrive from seeing her parents off from an airport. With a bit of effort on my part we should have a lovely evening and early morning tomorrow.

15/06/2018
[16:35] Friday Friday. Hurrah. Finally. Anyway, I still managed to get up early, even today when I didn't need to. Something to do with the light, I think. And my religious adhering to going to bed before 22:30 when at all possible. I honestly think that's what's slowly been getting rid of the shadows under my eyes over the last few years. It's taking a long time, but they're really faded compared to how they used to be. Anyway, I digress. Last night I went home via the hardware store and bought some rubber ferrules (I'd forgotten that was their name). It turned out that they were only big enough to fit on my clothes rack (which needed a set of four). Consequently, on the way to the pub this evening I'll be taking the remainder back for a refund. I also bought some eye screws and some picture wire, so the picture that's going to go above the bed is now ready for hanging. Given the picture hook for it is going into a party wall I've elected to wait until around midday tomorrow to do that so as not to wake anyone next door (not that they have any problem talking overly loudly late into the night every day of the week sometimes). At work today I've done a lot of small but useful things, patched some servers which'd somehow been left off the patching schedule (but I'd noticed them in Red Hat Satellite as well behind on patches), got some other stuff scheduled, fixed a few things, been to the gym over lunch time, and even managed to snatch a few seconds of conversation with a very busy Rachel).

This weekend I'll probably be doing parkrun, then getting home and cleaned up in time for an Ikea delivery. I'll attempt to make as much of the furniture as I can before Sunday afternoon when I'll be getting a train to Croydon to see Rachel (who'll be busy until then with work stuff). Other things to fit in include going to Tesco and potentially a long run if I've got enough of the furniture built (although I do have every evening next week except Friday evening) to get it done, too.

14/06/2018
[16:10] My final day of coming in early, at least for this week. There'll be a few times over the next few weeks when I'll have to do it again as there are still a few servers which need patching. I see at least four more days over the next three weeks. This morning's patching went perfectly, thank goodness. There were four physical servers with a mass of firmware updates and all four of them patched cleanly, which was nice. Given the preparatory work I'd done the services on them were actually only down for about ten minutes or so, which was also pretty neat.

The remainder of the day I've been clearing up some of the red lights on our issues reporting system, going for an 8K run at lunchtime which left me more tired that it should be (I do wonder what's going on there; it can't just be that it's hotter and I'm also doing weights now), and generally doing a few bits and bobs here and there to keep things running more smoothly.

As I got in early I'm going to head off shortly via B&Q for some picture-hanging stuff and potentially even some rubber feet for one of my clothes driers and my dining table chairs. Then it's another evening of thinking about what to have for dinner, having dinner, doing a bit more tidying, and then going to bed.

13/06/2018
[16:45] So apparently the machines I patched and rebooted cleanly this morning weren't supposed to be done this morning, but Friday, but the ones I'm doing tomorrow are still good for tomorrow. I don't think anyone noticed, other than the DBAs/developers I told that everything had gone fine, but it was a bit of an oversight and, I think, down to things changing after I'd already put things in my calendar. Either that or I just got the numbers wrong from the beginning. In any event, it still means I get Friday to wake up/come in to work a little later/at a more normal time. I'm not really sure what happened, if I'm honest. In other news one of the benefits I get from my bank hasn't been coming through to me because their email system seems to think the domain I have in my email address doesn't exist... despite me getting plenty of emails from other email systems/servers without issue. It does make me wonder a little how many other emails I might not be getting. The thing is, the person who owns the mail domain is about as competent as it gets when it comes to email (and anything else IT) so I don't think it's his fault.

In other news I've prepared five physical servers and ten virtual servers for patching and rebooting tomorrow morning. Hopefully everything will go off without issue. We'll see. For now I'm off home to try and do a bit more winnowing of 'stuff' in the house/mainly the box room, and then relax for the rest of the day and try not to think about the things I still need to do (like mowing the lawns). And in other, other news, my USB3.0 SATA dual drive caddy thing arrived last night and I was able to look at a few spare drives I have hanging around and work out which ones are blank and which are broken. An IDE version would be useful once I get my really old 'games' PC up and running again, but we'll have to see if I can borrow one as IDE isn't really something I expect to have a great need for in the future.

Went to the gym at lunch time. Ended up doing a fair bit of lower body stuff, so tomorrow's run could be just as uncomfortable as yesterday's.

12/06/2018
[16:25] The second early morning of the week and things seemed to go perfectly well, as far as I could tell. I even got to prod the DBAs about the frankly stupid amount of old versions of certain bits of software they've left installed. Whether or not they're going to do anything about it remains to be seen, but at least it's on their radar for the time being, and I also got a few more servers patched and rebooted, which was the main thing from my point of view.

Otherwise today I've done a lot of useful organising of things via email, cleaned up things being reported on our monitoring system, prepared servers for tomorrow and Thursday morning's patching, and even managed to stagger around 6K of run at lunchtime (the DOMS I was 'hoping' for duly appeared). It's back to the gym again tomorrow lunch time, although I don't think I'll punish my glutes and legs specifically tomorrow, just as part of a balanced workout. For the time being I think just twice a week will do.

I'm off home shortly as I was in early today, then Cormac'll be popping around to collect some DVDs to digitise for us both. Hopefully, some stuff I ordered from Amazon has arrived downstairs and I'll get to try it out this evening.

11/06/2018
[17:00] Happy Monday, or something. Hello, anyway. The weekend was nice, thank you for asking. Saturday morning we did parkrun together. By which I mean we started at the same time and then Rachel finished 29 seconds ahead of me, because she's a faster runner than I am. We then went home and made pancakes, which is always a good thing. After that there was some washing up, some ordering of furniture and bedding online and then the hammering of things into walls to hang up pictures. Amazingly, same-day delivery on some stuff was cheaper than having some stuff next day from Amazon, so a few things arrived in the evening, which was great. Sadly, Rachel had to head off to be in Croydon in time to get to something on Sunday morning she she left and I settled in in front of the television. On Sunday morning, in solidarity with Rachel I ran 8-9 miles in the morning before showering and having breakfast. Then, rather than sit in front of the television all day, I tidied and threw things out, watched a bit of television, went to Tesco, did some more consolidation, more television, moved a bookshelf into the porch (it makes sense), and did some washing of bedding in preparation for Rachel's brother's family coming the weekend after next. The Ikea order I did on the Saturday has been scheduled for this Saturday coming, so I'll have plenty of time to get it assembled and the room it's destined for ready for staying in. The smallest room just needs needs me to go through the remainder of my computer junk and work out what's staying and then that'll be ready too. The fold-up bed I got can go in there now as it folds up very small.

This morning was the first day of four this week when I come in early to patch and reboot servers. Everything went pretty smoothly apart from a few SysV scripts taking forever and leaving me feeling like something had gone wrong. I'll be ready for that tomorrow morning and going forward. Over the course of the day I prepared for tomorrow morning's patching, helped solve an issue which'd been bugging me since after I wrote Friday's journal, went for what I hope was a reasonably tough legs and glutes session at the gym (we'll have to see if I get DOMS tomorrow or not), and gently sweated in a rather hot office.

I'm off home now to do a little bit of sorting/rationalising, eat some dinner, and then get another early night for tomorrow morning. Hopefully the weather will be as nice tomorrow as it is right now. It'd also be nice if I was getting to be out in a bit more, too.

08/06/2018
[16:45] Rachel arrived last night, yay! I left her slowly waking up this morning so I could get to work just a shade after 09:00. Today has been a muggy, close day in the office. However, other than a few systemd-related server issues this morning, and a weird and intractable Oracle HTTP Server-related issue this afternoon, everything seems to have been fairly quiet. I even got to go to the gym at lunch time, which was a nice break from sitting in my office chair. I've also ordered a dual disk caddy thing so I can mount the HDD from my Windows 10 server on my new Linux under-TV installation. Not to mention a SATA power splitter, so I can potentially plug it in internally instead. We'll see.

I'm off now for the weekend, which I'll be spending with Rachel until she heads home on Saturday evening for stuff on Sunday. As I think I said, she probably won't be coming back again on Sunday afternoon (that's a lot of travel) so that'll mean I have all of Sunday to myself to... do something with. I'm not sure what at the moment. I'm equally unsure what we'll be doing tomorrow either, but hopefully it'll involve fun.

07/06/2018
[17:10] After yesterday's work from home I was in excessively early to patch around 32 servers this morning. All but two of them were virtual, and of those about six didn't reboot quickly, for some reason, but just sat around for a while. I'm not sure why. One of the physical servers decided to really make a scene and required a co-worker and I to go over there, boot from rescue media and make changes to files before it would boot. I probably could have done it on my own, but it was far more pleasant to have someone there to second-guess my actions and make sure I didn't do anything stupid. Or at least not stupid enough that two people thought so.

Back in the office afterwards I upgraded the PHP on four servers, set some ACLs, and generally did a barrel-load of other stuff. Over lunch there was time for a small 6K run to check on my achilles recovery (everything seems mostly OK), and then to cycle over to one of the server rooms to replace a HDD in a RAID1 set.

My replacement washer hose (sheathed in metal, for mouse-proofedness) arrived at work today, so once I get home from here (via a hardware store for mouse traps, and Tesco for dinner bits and bobs) I'll be installing that and getting the washer back in place. Then there might just be time to install Fedora 28 on a new under-TV computer to replace the Windows 10 PC that ate itself upgrading from build 1709 to 1803. I still need the HDD out of the Windows box for the media on the D: drive, but otherwise I don't think there's anything of value on it, precisely for reasons like this.

And finally and most importantly, Rachel is due this evening, hurrah. She'll be staying until late on Saturday, and then heading back to Croydon so she's in the right place for some stuff she has to do on Sunday. I don't imagine she'll be coming back again after that's done, so I won't then see her again until the end of next week. Still, a fair bit of time for us to be together before then, hurrah!

05/06/2018
[17:15] I got in early this morning after a not-entirely-satisfactory night's sleep to patch about 30 servers. Happily, more than half of them were virtual servers, so they patched and rebooted without me having to think about hardware much at all. Even more happily all of the servers which had actual hardware (and which I'd staged firmware updates) also rebooted cleanly too, which was nice. What wasn't nice was that I got the opportunity to patch and reboot some Oracle VM servers and guests, and one of them went very weird for a while... before sorting itself out as near as I can tell. Just another reason why I hope we never have to do anything new with Oracle VM in the future and we can just let it die when the hardware goes out of date/support.

Otherwise I spent the day wondering whether I should, and then whether I should have, gone to the gym at lunch time as I wasn't going to run with my achilles tendon still noticably unhappy. I didn't go in the end, obviously. I'll go tomorrow lunchtime instead, and hope that I can run on Thursday lunch time. Not that I have any races even booked at the moment, but I don't want to detrain any more than I feel I have at this point.

It would be really nice to have Rachel to go home to today (or any/ever day, if I'm honest), but she's incredibly busy this week and next, so I just hope she's having a 'good'/useful time of things. I will see her on Thursday evening though, and she's working from my house on the Friday, which is definitely a good thing.

Oh, I have a Neff engineer coming "between 07:30 and 17:00" tomorrow to fix my oven light. I know I should have tried to just order the parts myself and get stuck in, but I seriously don't want to break the thing just because I didn't want to incur the callout fee. I'm still a little worried that the engineer is going to arrive without both of the parts I think he needs, but we'll see. As a consequence of the wide window of potential arrival time I'm going to be working from home tomorrow, unless he comes in fairly early in the day... so I guess no gym for me after all.

04/06/2018
[17:450] Well, as expected, the race on Sunday was hard, and Rachel ended up beating me by at least three minutes. Probably a little more than that. I have no excuses other than it was hot, and I've detrained significantly since the marathon. Also afterwards my left achilles was seriously uncomfortable, verging on rather painful. However, leading up to the race everything was fine. I had Friday evening at home to relax, then took trains to Croydon on the Saturday morning. I arrived in time for us to go to Rachel's favourite local eatery to eat, then we had an afternoon of relaxing and doing semi-useful stuff before bed time. Sunday morning was all about cycling to our collection point, being driven to the race, racing, and then coming home.

I'm afraid most of today has been spent trying to get Virgin Trains to cough up the money for two single tickets Rachel and I used to get to Manchester for the marathon back in April (purchased in January). I won't bore you with the details, but Virgin Trains are apparently going to reimburse some random off the internet (via PayPal) and only for half of the tickets, at that. Going through the Live Chat and even the phone system was a lesson in frustration and I'm really going to need to cycle carefully home rather than raging my way across town.

Of course, once I get home I still have to go out and do the week's grocery shopping, which definitely isn't top of the things I'd like to be doing this evening.

My left achilles still hurts, my right tricep aches, and my lower back is still stiff and sore. Whinge whinge whinge. And I have to be in early tomorrow morning to patch and reboot about 26 servers.

01/06/2018
[15:30] A quick pop to Croydon last night turned into a little bit of a mission as the trains still aren't running correctly owing to conflicting and various reasons as to why. In any event, I am some friends still got there in the end. We met up with Rachel and quickly inhaled some food as I for one was absolutely famished. Then it was time for the show which was... OK. Nothing spectacular, but funny in places. Disappointingly low on audience, but I think we made enough noise for the acts to feel like they were appreciated. Rachel and I went back to her house for the night and everyone else attempted to go home on the train. I think they made it on a direct one, amazingly.

This morning I woke up with a sore throad and a running nose, again. It was early, but we both managed to get out of the house on time/a little early due to my paranoid about missing my train(s). I was also feeling a little odd/down/weird, too. However, that seems to have evaporated for the most part of the course of concentrating on the working day.

At work today I've mostly been slowly setting up users such that they can configure the applications on a server I set up recently. Otherwise it has mostly been about preparing servers for patching next week, trying not to pull the trigger on firmware staging (never do something like that on a Friday), and getting into discussions about which of the six doors to our office (don't ask) we should get keys for given the hightened security that's being enacted here due to various things going on.

In other news, I went to the gym I joined recently for the first time this lunch time. I tried hard not to make it a big session my first time in years, but I think I still gave it a good go. So much so that I had the shakes when I got back to my desk (probably hunger pangs) and I'm pretty sure I'll have some form of DOMS tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow and the weekend, I'll be off to Croydon again early/mid-morning to see Rachel, and then we'll be going to do a race on Sunday morning. When we're not racing I imagine we'll be relaxing somehow, somewhere. I don't expect to do amazingly well in the race, but I would at least like to keep fairly close to Rachel. She's proven to almost always pull something incredible out of the bag on race day, despite how she might feel she's been doing in training. We'll have to see, I guess. Then I'll be back to work on Monday morning, much like I was this morning.